Common witch-hazel is a large shrub with a picturesque irregular branching habit that naturally grows along woodland edges. The large, rounded, dark green leaves often hang onto the winter branches. The yellow strap-like flowers of this native shrub are among the last blooms to appear in fall, but are often hidden by the leaves. The fruit capsules mature a year after flowering, splitting open to expel seeds that are attractive to birds. Tolerant of road salt and clay soil. This is a great specimen plant or in a naturalized landscape.
This species is native to the Chicago Region according to Swink and Wilhelm’s Plants of the Chicago Region, with updates made according to current research.
- Family (English) witch-hazel
- Family (botanic) Hamamelidaceae
- Tree or plant type Tree, Shrub
- Foliage Deciduous (seasonally loses leaves)
- Native locale Chicago area, Illinois, North America
- Size range Large shrub (more than 8 feet), Compact tree (10-15 feet), Small tree (15-25 feet)
- Light exposure Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily), Partial sun / shade (4-6 hrs light daily), Full shade (4 hrs or less of light daily)
- Hardiness zones Zone 3, Zone 4, Zone 5 (Northern Illinois), Zone 6 (City of Chicago), Zone 7, Zone 8
- Soil preference Moist, well-drained soil
- Tolerances Alkaline soil, Clay soil, Road salt
- Season of interest early fall, mid fall, late fall
- Flower color and fragrance Fragrant, Yellow
- Shape or form Irregular, Round, Upright
- Growth rate Moderate